It’s not new to hear about pets, and even worse, children being left behind inside parked vehicles. For whatever reason, it really is inexcusable. To address such “accidents” that can potentially (and already have) cost lives, Kia has come up with a pretty smart system.
Dubbed the Rear Occupant Alert system, the Korean carmaker has found a way to alert drivers that they still have someone in the second and/or third row of the vehicle. The system implements three notifications for the driver.
First is a chime that rings and a “check rear seats” message displayed on the instrument cluster of the vehicle. Should the driver alight without checking, and after the vehicle is turned off and locked, ultrasonic sensors inside the car detect movement in the second and third rows. Should there be any movement picked up, the second notification kicks in by way of blasting the car horns 20 seconds after motion detection. If that is not enough, the third system, the Kia Access app, will send a notification to the car owner’s mobile phone.
It is worth noting that the third system must be downloaded and installed in a compatible mobile phone/device for it to work. More importantly, the Rear Occupant Alert system must also be activated from the vehicle’s menu as well. Of course there is no real substitute for actually checking in and around your vehicle before leaving it in the parking; Kia just saw fit to aid those who may be otherwise (too) preoccupied to do so.
Currently, the system is standard on the Telluride, Kia’s new flagship SUV. With safety becoming more and more a top priority for car manufacturers the world over, it shouldn’t be long before the Rear Occupant Alert system becomes standard across all vehicles the world over.